After extensive negotiations these several months, Germany has accepted to host the “Invest in African Energy Reception” at Frankfurter Botschaft on February 23, primarily aims at showcasing investment opportunities across Africa’s burgeoning energy sector as the next significant phase on the organization’s European investment tour. The Invest in African Energy gathering at Frankfurter Botschaft is organized by the South African based African Energy Chamber (AEC).
Following successful Invest in African Energy Receptions held in London last year and Oslo in January 2023, in partnership with global energy market research firm, Rystad Energy, and leading pan-African financial services provider, the African Export-Import Bank , the AEC’s German leg of the Invest in African Energy European Roadshow aims to maximize energy investment partnerships between Africa and Europe’s largest economy.
Featuring German, European and global investors, private and public sector institutions, African energy policymakers and companies as well as stakeholders across both the German and African energy value chains, the Invest in African Energy Frankfurt event will highlight energy investment, economic growth, energy resilience and environmental sustainability prospects for both Germany and Africa on the back of improved energy development, exploitation and trade ties.
It will also address the energy infrastructure development and energy monetization initiatives in partnership with global players, foreign investors and governments. As Africa’s biggest gathering for energy ministers, energy policymakers, companies and investors – it will, therefore, be crucial for shaping discussions to find pragmatic approach around the key role the continent’s massive yet largely unexplored hydrocarbon resources play in driving making energy poverty history while triggering newfound socioeconomic growth.
“The Chamber is honored to expand its Invest in African Energy European Roadshow to Germany where we seek to unite African and German energy stakeholders. German companies have the technology and expertise which Africa needs to maximize its global energy leadership role and we hope platforms such as the Invest in African Energy will foster a new era of improved cooperation between the country and the African continent ahead of the 2023 edition of African Energy Week this October, where more industry changing deals will be signed and partnerships formed,” said NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of the AEC.
According to several reports, European countries are seriously looking for more reliable energy suppliers. With Germany optimizing the diversification of its energy supply away from Russia due to the Russian-Ukraine war that began February 24, Africa appears to represent a perfect partner to drive the energy market stability.
While the demand for gas via liquefied natural gas continues to increase and take on a sizable share of the global energy mix, Africa is expanding its share of global gas supply.
With Africa requiring up to $1.7 trillion in the upstream gas sector to increase its gas production as the continent’s role in shaping global energy security intensifies through 2050, Germany has a key role to play in helping the continent maximize and monetize resources. African countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Namibia and Angola are well positioned to supply Germany, and the Invest in African Energy Frankfurt event represents an ideal platform for Germany to enhance energy ties with Africa and secure its energy future.
“Hydrogen projects have been on the platform of all Germany Africa energy investments. Natural gas has seen new interest from Germany. Germany’s launch of two LNG import facilities within 12 months highlights the country’s commitment to securing its energy supply via gas and LNG. Africa is well positioned to be the country’s number one supplier and the Invest in African Energy Frankfurt event represents the ideal platform where improved Germany-African energy ties can be turned into reality,” NJ Ayuk said.
Furthermore, while Africa is positioning itself as a global leader in green hydrogen on the back of the continent’s massive gas and renewable energy resources, with countries such as Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritania and Egypt spearheading industry growth, the recent trip to South Africa and Namibia by German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, in search of hydrogen to ensure energy security highlights the vital role African energy can play in shaping the energy transition and strengthening Germany’s energy security.
In this regard, the AEC, through the Invest in African Energy Frankfurt event, is committed to heightening German energy investments in Africa to accelerate the continent’s build-up of infrastructure across the entire green hydrogen value chain. This will in turn provide a win-win situation for both Germany and Africa as both parties seek energy market stability, economic expansion, environmental sustainability and GDP growth.
With over 600 million people across the African continent lacking access to reliable electricity and 900 million to clean cooking solutions, the continent’s estimated 125.3 billion barrels of crude oil, 620 trillion cubic feet of gas and untapped renewables potential present a huge opportunity to alleviate energy poverty. In this scenario, Germany represents an ideal partner for the continent as it moves to maximize energy investments and make energy poverty history by 2030.
By exploring the benefits and challenges associated with these exploration campaigns, investors play unique role in sustainable development as Africa has roughly 40 billion undeveloped barrels of oil and gas reserves in the energy industry. According to the World Bank, Russia also holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the second largest coal reserves, and the eighth largest oil reserves. With the Russia-Ukraine crisis and Russia the leading energy supplier redirecting its search markets in Asian region, it has brought good opportunities for new partners for Africa.
Over the past years after Soviet collapse, Russia has expressed heightened interest in exploring and producing oil and gas in Africa. Emboldened African leaders and industry executives have accepted proposals, signed several agreements with Russian companies, but little have been achieved in the sector. With the rapidly changing geopolitical conditions and economic fragmentation fraught with competition and rivalry, African leaders have to understand that Russia might not heavily invest in the oil and gas sector, not even in the needed infrastructure in this industry.
NJ Ayuk observes that Africa has already made an indelible mark in the oil and gas industry. Africans must therefore become more accountable, and plan better in the energy sectors. Some potential external investors, such as Russia, have for many decades shown interest in this sector but have not delivered promptly on their promises and signed agreements.
Some experts believe that Europe can look to Africa as preferred energy supplier. Africa is ready to welcome investors currently pulling out of Russia if they can genuinely invest in developing oil and gas infrastructure which Africa seriously lacks in this industry. For Africa at this point in time, that’s a real opportunity and understandably Russia aspires to be the leading supplier on the global market and therefore seeks to marginalize potential producers such as Africa. In practical terms, it is very cautious making financial commitments in Africa.
“The demand for oil and gas from Africa is on the rise, especially as we expect domestic usage to rise significantly, driven by growing population and corresponding economic activity. It is therefore key for countries across the continent to leverage existing oil and gas infrastructure to fast-track the development of assets that would otherwise have been stranded,” said Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President of the African Energy Chamber. “We are delighted to continue working with interested investors and researchers to bring forward vital data that allows decision makers to drive investments in Africa’s energy sector, that ultimately will lead to ending energy poverty in Africa by 2030.”
According to Ayukegba, the African Energy Chamber continues to investigate how the accelerated investment and development of Africa’s infrastructure landscape will be key for ensuring oil and gas discoveries translate into long-term developments. Currently, there exists an infrastructure gap across the continent, a gap which significantly impacts exploration initiatives, bringing newfound challenges to project take-off and completion. Therefore, during the panel, speakers will explore this gap while making a strong case for alternative, expert-backed solutions.
If Africa is to make energy history in Africa by 2030, the continent needs to maximize utilizing all available resources. As such, African countries with energy resources have the potential to change the continent’s energy landscape, especially at this time of unprecedented global changes and large-scale developments set to establish a multipolar system. In spite of these, Africa needs to boost its energy security and work consistently towards energy self-sufficiency within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and within the African Union Agenda 2063.